Welcome to the new FFB BFF Series, featuring Cassie Silva, my best friend, nearest and dearest, unicorn, mermaid, wonder woman, goddess, seeker of everyday magic, Broadway beauty, acting angel, and tremendous talent ready & willing to steer the ship of this new series! This series is devoted to sharing meaningful conversations between Cassie & I (currently over Skype as we reside across the world from each other– LA to Londontown!!). We’ll be answering any and all of your questions about Broadway, health, fitness, wellness, or anything you could possibly dream to wonder about… if we can help, we’ll talk it out! If we don’t know, we’ll ask our pals.. if they don’t know we’ll get out our sandcastle tools and dig through information to find the answer. You are heard and no question will go unacknowledged! This is a sneak peek of a big FFB project launching in the Fall and I couldn’t feel more Honored & Inspired to have this honeybee next to me for it! 🙂
If you’ve missed the initial invite for questions, not to worry, it’s a multi-part series so feel free to ask more questions in the comment section of this post or on our Instagrams and we’ll add them to our next conversation!
NOTE FROM CASSIE: Hi Fit For Broadway World! Thanks for having me back. I’m Cass! I love Jane with my whole heart (who doesn’t). I can attest that she is relentlessly inspiring with a heart of radiant gold… And mermaid hair. So, when she invited me back to talk Fitness Vibes & Healthy Strides with the Broadway Tribe, I felt truly honored. I’ve been an actor for a super long time on TV, in some movies and even on Broadway a time or two. I’m happy to be here. Let’s make some magic!
FFB BFF, x Cass
P.S. Ask away and please don’t be shy! Everyone deserves a chance to fly.
Photo by Tynan Daniels
Fun Fact: Cassie thought of the new FFB motto “Broadway Tribe, Fitness Vibes, Healthy Strides” which I am OBSESSED with!! Shimmy over to FITFORBROADWAYAPPAREL.COM to snag your muscle tank, crop top, or t-shirt featuring this new design!!
J: Hi Cass.
C: Hi Janie.
J: I’m sooooo *shriek* excited about this!!!!!
C: Still not sure how you’re able to look like a flawless goddess via Skype…
J: ha! you’re a mermaid, officially #mermaid (reference photos) We’re getting so many awesome questions for this series. Let’s dive in.. Sooo you moved to LA a month ago…
C: L.A., L.A., L.A. *singing* Yea! well I’m from here so I came home.
J: And I’m coming to see ya in about 7 weeks…
C: My heart literally just exploded into the galaxies of excitedness.
J: I am officially freaking out about being an LA ladybug for a whole month this fall. We get to plan our top secret project coming up…. woot woot!
C: *singing* do do dooooo!!!
J: These questions for this series are giving me life.. The first one is coming to us, for you specifically, says.. “Questions for Cassie” from Riley P… Riley Girl is asking, “What advice would you give your teenage self? Your college self? And what’s your favorite musical movie?”
C: Gosh! These are all really good questions! What do you mean? I still am my teenage self first of all 🙂
J: We’re literally 13 year olds trapped in 20-something year old bodies.
C: I think I lived in a lot of fear when I was a teenager. I wasn’t actually involved in theatre until I was much older. I started in TV & Film. I just knew I had to be a story teller so.. I probably would say… I needed more direction on the business of acting. I think that I was afraid to ask other people for help because I thought ‘I should know this already’ or nobody’s going to want to help a kid, things like that. I think especially today, people are so willing to help & love to tell you what they know.
J: I think that’s such a common fear when we’re younger because we’re expected to know so much because information is so accessible.. there’s pressure to know about everything, even outside your interests and work. I felt the same when I was younger.. so embarrassed when I didn’t know the answer but I think it’s amazing when people are bold about not knowing and not being afraid to ask.
C: Yea! I think I really had great instincts when I was younger and I don’t think I trusted them enough. It’s such a different time now. We’re still considerably young but the times have changed so much. Reputation has a lot to do with it… so I would have told myself to send a lot more thank you cards. I didn’t let enough people know how grateful I was. Just like ‘hey, that was really cool, I really enjoyed that show, etc…’
Especially now, students of mine, or people I had known growing up come to see the show and get ahold of me to say ‘Hi’. And I love it. Then I get to say thank you! It’s much easier now to keep in contact via social media and I also remember all of those people too! As a kid I thought actors who inspired me in shows wouldn’t care or remember me. But, I always remember who comes. When I see that somebody came to the show that I know or was a student of mine, I always think ‘oh my gosh! I wish you would have told me you were here so I could thank you!’
Especially students… I always want to know what they’re up to! So, be brave about sharing what you’re up to. Be up to something. Have an adventure at hand! That will keep you out of trouble so long as they’re good adventures! 🙂
Photo by Tynan Daniels
J: And your college self…? Which I think is awesome because you came straight to the BWAY! 🙂 #MyHero
C: I think this is actually adult self, actually speaking to non-college Cassie because I think I need to hear it even now as an adult. [On College]— If you’re not going to go, that’s ok. If you’re going to go, go. I haven’t gone yet, that’s ok. I’ve toyed with that so much over the years even now as an adult I think ‘oh should I have gone? Should I not have gone?’ Not in a crazy in my head sort of way. There are paramount moments that I know a Broadway experience allotted me. But I also would admit, that’s just the card I pulled. Going to school or taking that time… What a luxury. College can also be a really great place for you to meet people or fine tune exactly what you want to do. I homemade my “college”. I studied with a lot of professors from a lot of universities. I have constantly and consistently stayed in class. Even now, I just got to LA and I’m already in class so I think you’re never done learning. So to my non-collegiate self, I would say ‘buy a YALE shirt and manifest it or don’t. Your dreams are still valid.’
J: Truth bomb. I went to college for opera and do not sing opera now obviously so sometimes I’m like, hmmm what did those 4 years do. I think you’re either learning in the school of life or you’re learning in a little bubble called college…
C: This is actually solid because one of us went and one of us didn’t. What are some of the things on the daily you took away from going to college? First of all, where did you go?
J: I went to Loyola Marymount University which is probably about 5 minutes from where you’re sitting right now 🙂 I studied classical voice and I say that because I had a voice teacher who was very adamant about me not singing musical theatre and I was sort of always like but I want to be a Disney Princess! but she never let me sing musical theatre.
C: Was that a pro or con to your college self?
J: I grew up singing musical theatre so my college years made me fall in love with opera and to this day I still love it. I think it would have opened more doors if I could have studied both. But I was so singularly focused which made me incredibly disciplined and I’m super grateful for that because studying under her, she was so rigid and it made me rigid, well disciplined, in the way I approach everything so that’s something that’s for sure a pro. I think as long as you’re always aligned with your authentic self and putting your intentions in the right place you’ll come out of whatever environment you’re learning in and be fine. My parents had a lot of influence on my decision to go to college which I’m grateful for.. I think it should be noted because I know some kids really struggle to agree with their parents about their plan for their education, training, work, etc.
C: I get a lot of parents who want me to wink-wink nudge-nudge and I always say your child will know. I thought for a moment in time that I was going to go to Juilliard for ballet (insert laugh here) and at the audition learned that it didn’t feel right at all. So I had to wait another season to apply for the acting program, but had booked another job by then. For some kids they just know. They want to go to New York and start pounding the pavement, get into class and they’re driven and focused. Why not invest in that? I had a really unique transition out of high school because I graduated over a year early. I had a longer period to figure out if/where I wanted to go and I still missed the stinkin’ mark. I feel like we just dove into college but I have to add, I would’ve told myself to build my repertoire. Learn shows, songs, terms, etc. Get PREPARED.
J: Yes! I would have told myself that too! I think the topic of college is so relevant though and it’s definitely a hot topic because so many people feel like the education and training you get now at a university is invaluable but there isn’t really a formula. There are so many people on my blog who have gone to college and who haven’t been and both are rockin’ their life.
C: In 2016 with the wave of theatre and Broadway, we’re really pushing the bar these days with shows like Fun Home and Hamilton, etc… and Musical Theatre programs are becoming more and more progressive as well. Universities and different programs are now becoming so invaluably competitive. They’re preparing you for a career, introducing you to the right people, teaching you the right things… you really do walk out of there ready to book a job or better, #bookedandblessed.
J: Yes! Ok, what’s you favorite musical movie?
C: This is how I got into Broadway! My grandma used to play VHS’ for me. I have a few. Grease, duh. I mean I had a bunny rabbit named Danny Zuko. I didn’t have access to go to New York and see shows so I would set up my living room and move all the furniture and press play and do whatever role was happening.
J: I’m obsessed with that.
C: ohhh meet me in St Louis, and anything with Gene Kelly. I actually got to play Esther Smith (in MMISL) and Margaret O’Brien came to see the show. It was incredible to perform for her. Anything Barbra Streisand… GYPSY! How could I forget Gypsy?! To this day I literally drop a bra strap and I’m like ‘leave them wanting more folks’… in my turtleneck I drop a bra strap. haha
C: What are your favorites?
J: I grew up on Disney! My childhood was Disney Princess’ singing to me… Does that count?
J: Like Aladdin!!! ohhhh my favorite! And I played the lottery last night in London and lost 🙁 My London BFF, Antony is in the show and I can’t wait to see him!
Ok we have Lucy T. She’s asking us… “do you have a routine//any tips for a quick warm up and/or cool down for before and after a show? I’m currently doing one show and rehearsing for another and my body is constantly needing new ways to prepare for whatever is next on my agenda. thanks so much!!” I’m going to let you take that one, Cass.
C: First of all Girl Power.. she is definitely #TrainingforBroadway
J: Yes and Yes #girlpower!
C: I have a few! First of all, I can’t live without my steam inhaler. You can get ‘em from CVS or Walgreens. I feel like a lot of the time what makes you tired is being dry and it’s hard to keep the moisture especially with weather changes and theaters! OK! Helpful hint from my voice guru gal, steaming in multiple short increments is the most effective method for throat hydration. On tour, I’d just be watching Shark Tank at night steaming my life away for 45 minutes. Now I know, 5-10 minutes tops! It helps warm everything up.. your nasal passages and your throat. Another fun fact! Supposedly, the only way you can actually hydrate the vocal chords is inhaling steam. You can drink as much water as you want (I put a little glycerin ((Or a few spritz’s of Alcohol free Professional Singer’s Saving Grace)) in mine which can coat your throat as well) but steaming is the ticket. Definite Broadway staple. You go into the Matilda dressing rooms and steamer inhalers are just lined up.
In case you want/need a link: Vicks Steam Inhaler: http://vicks.com/en-us/shop-products/humidifiers-steam-inhalers/v1200-electric-steam-inhaler
Singer’s Saving Grace: http://singerssavinggracethroatspray.com/pages/AFSingerPrfStngth_300dpiRGB.htm
J: What about physical ways to actually warm up your body so our Lucy Girl can be ready for whatever is thrown at her? 🙂
C: Yes! My voice teacher in New York, Matt Farnsworth, has voice app! You can choose different warm-up features “sick/tired, healthy, belt, pop…”
Photo by Tynan Daniels
J: That is SO cool!!
C: It’s the most cool! I’m not kidding, it has gotten me through everything. No matter where I am it’s right there, I know all the exercises and it’s just sorta nice to have that consistency. Before that I was using his exercises on Voice memo but now it’s more accessible. And it’s my jam. I live by that. I’m a big fan of Alexander too which has to do a lot with being in your body and taking in your breathe.
J: And warm up for your dance-y limbs?
C: I usually try and take at least an hour of some sort of fitness throughout the day to ground, open up my breathe and get the cardio up. I think it’s such a fine line… how Lucy was saying she’s doing two shows at once… depending on what your show is asking of you, to not push it too hard, to know what workouts work for you. For example, I know if I’m feeling tired or on my period (sorry guys!) I need to take a slow yoga class to get myself going. I love Classpass for that reason. I can go back and forth between types of exercise. But yea, I try to do at least an hour sometime before curtain. There’s just something that happens energetically with all those endorphins.
J: #TheReasonIAmSoPassionateAboutFFB haha 🙂 Workouts hold the magic. My intern, Patrick, shared this awesome article with me today about 8 things successful people do and one of them was being active daily and they said usually earlier on in the day so it kick starts your energy.
C: LOVE IT!
J: After the show.. what are you doing?
C: I do a warm down called weeeeooooweee. So curious how that will “sound” via text. Haha! Basically, it’s scales going down. Love me a super hot bath with epsom salt… And I know they’re not very good for you, but I like really hot showers, especially if I’ve been dancing all day.
J: Why are they not good for you?
C: I hear they dry out your skin?
J: Ahhh yes, not your voice though.
C: Haha, YES! I’ll do that and then do a few of the scales in my dressing room when I’m taking my pin curls out. Especially if you’re doing a character voice or a dialect, it just brings everything back downtown.
J: Sidenote… that same article about successful people, they said to take cold showers which is always something my yoga teacher taught me to level out emotions. It shocks your system into neutral, isn’t that crazy?
J: And cold showers are so good for your skin!! Literally I hear about people sticking their face into icy water buckets and it makes your face glowwww.
C: Let’s all get our glow on! I heard recently you shouldn’t drink cold water? Supposedly your body doesn’t know what to do with it. I don’t know if I can get down with that because I love cold water. But, also lemon water is so good for you. I get the lemons from my dad’s trees!! Lemon water first thing in the morning gives the body a chance to absorb vitamins effectively and can provide a little immune boost. Throughout the day it brings you to that PH balanced place that your body needs to be in and helps with digestion.
J: Ooo! I had some lemon water this morning in my detox tea! Check, Check! 🙂
Photo by Tynan Daniels
SPECIAL THANKS to my sweet pal, Tynan, for taking these amazing mermaid photos of my gal, Cass! 🙂 Check out his amazing work and for goodness sake, if you’re in LA don’t miss out on shooting with him! Head to his website tynandaniels.com for more information!